Cape Town - Springbok Sevens veteran
Frankie Horne says the 15-man game specialists who want to put up their hand
for sevens selection ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games will be welcomed.
There’s plenty of excitement ahead of
sevens rugby’s Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2015.
It has already been reported that the likes
of New Zealand stars Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam will make themselves
available for sevens selection during the 2015/16 World Series campaign.
More big rugby names in other countries are
expected to be announced in the near future too.
Last year, the Blitzboks hosted the likes
of Bryan Habana, Schalk Brits and JJ Engelbrecht at their headquarters in
Horne said the national sevens players will
always be open to welcoming more rugby talent to the group as they hope to
build the strongest possible squad for the Olympics.
“We will always welcome new players who
believe they can add value,” Horne told MyPlayers.co.za.
“It’s an exciting time for sevens rugby,
which has grown so much in recent years. This has given rugby players the
opportunity to be part of the biggest sports event in the world - the Olympic
“I wasn’t surprised to hear about Liam
Messam and Sonny Bill Williams wanting to play sevens rugby for New Zealand.
The top nations will all ensure the best players are available for selection,
including South Africa.
“From a South African perspective, the
players will need to make the sacrifice and dedicate time to the code. The
requirements state that each player needs to play at least two World Series
tournaments to qualify for Olympic selection. So the players who want to be
involved will need to make the effort.”
Horne added that the success of several
South Africans in both 15s and sevens rugby prove that dual-code players can
make an impact.
“Guys like Warren Whiteley, Kwagga Smith,
Seabelo Senatla, Cheslin Kolbe and Cornal Hendricks have excelled in sevens and
15s rugby, which is not easy,” said Horne. “They have proven that some players
can add value in both codes, and they’ll be exciting talents to watch over the
next year heading into the Olympics.
“It must be noted that it’s easier to move
from sevens to 15s, but it’s really difficult to adapt from 15s to sevens,
especially without prior experience. So the guys who want to cross codes need
to be patient and dedicate time to learning more about sevens rugby. We are
here to help them too.”
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